One Big Sicilian Life

Fun fact about Sicily, the people in Sicily consider themselves Sicilians first and Italians second. Another one is Sicilians speak Sicilian and not Italian. I didn’t know that Italy and Sicily would have such big differences. I’ve heard that Sicilians don’t like Italians… I wonder why?

I guess you can take it that I’m a Sicilian, actually half Sicilian. I love learning about my family history and learning where my ancestors come from. My biggest dream is to go to Sicily and visit the city that all of my ancestors are from. Wouldn’t that be cool??? I’ve gone on and have found so much information about my little Mamaws side (my daddy’s mother) but I haven’t found much information about my little Papaws side (my daddy’s father).

The information I found about my little Mamaw was so very interesting. My Great Great Grandmother and Grandfather were from Bisacquino, Sicily. My Great Great Grandmothers name was Lena Cacioppo and my Great Great Grandfathers name was Antonino Cacioppo. They both had 4 children in Sicily and then immigrated to America in the early 1900s and then had 2 other children. My little Mamaw, her name is Marie Elizabeth Cacioppo, was one of those that was born in America. Her exact day of birth was July 16, 1924. She passed away two months before I was born in May of 1995. I really do wish I could’ve known her because I’ve heard such great stories about her. She seemed like the sweetest lady…. Until you messed with her kids. I hear her temper was like a Roman candle!!!

I wasn’t able to get far with my little Papaws side. I did find out my Great Great Grandmother and Grandfather’s names and where they are from. My Great Great Grandmothers maiden name is Rose (Rosie) Costa. She was born in Sicily but I’m not sure of her date of birth. She met my Great Great Grandfather, Albert (Bat) Manzella, in Palermo, Sicily. They got married and then immigrated to America. I was very lucky to have known my little papaw. For what I could remember, little papaw was the sweetest man ever.

The picture below is of my little Mamaw and little papaw on their wedding day. They got married on October 31, 1944.

After many years, we had a big family reunion yesterday, June 25th. The reunion was for the Marenos and the Cacioppo side of the family. There is never a dull moment with my crazy Sicilian cousins. We had line dancing, karaoke, and a slide show of our relatives from the past to the present. For supper, we had Full Moon BBQ, a great southern favorite! It was so much fun catching up with my cousins and seeing everyone. I feel blessed to have a wonderful big Sicilian family!

Below are some of my cousins, my daddy,and other photos of my grandparents.

“I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

– Mario Puzo, The Godfather

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